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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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I've been busy sewing over this long weekend.  It's basically the only time I can really put the pedal to the medal and marathon sew, what with 4 consecutive days off.  I've been working on some new pieces for the guild's next event, Dressing for the Holidays.  I volunteered to get dressed and show all the hidden layers of a bustle-era outfit, so I figured this was an excellent opportunity to spruce up some of my undies!

Now I have some new frilly whites - combinations and a petticoat to fit over my bustle.  I had to wash them to get all the chalk marks off, so now they're dripping dry in the bathroom.  Maybe there will be fewer wrinkles to iron out this way.  *crosses fingers*

I'm also working on a new bustle dress that I'll call 'The Very Merry Christmas Dress.'  This will make perfect sense to you when you see it, but for now no pictures.  It's pretty on-the-nose, both colorwise and fabric pattern-wise (there are small pine trees woven into the fabric!)  I don't usually get into themed dresses like this, but honestly the guild does enough Victorian Christmas events that it'll get plenty of use, so I'm going for it!  Here's my to-do list:

  • Hem underskirt

  • Make and apply self-trim to underskirt (this can wait until last, or be added later)

  • Construct overskirt (it's cut out and marked for pleating in progress)

  • Mock up bodice, make changes to pattern as needed

  • Cut out and construct bodice

  • Make a paper small-scale model for a tall hat from this doll-sized diagram, make changes as necessary and scale up pattern (or come up with plan B) ETA: Plan B it is!

  • Construct tall hat during slow evenings at work

  • If I miraculously have time, make a shoulder cape and small muff trimmed with faux beaver fur.

I fully expect this list to remain unfinished by Saturday, but that's OK.  There will be at least one other Victorian Christmas event this year (two if I feel up to inviting myself to a friend of a friend's event on Sunday.)  And there's always next year's events too.  This is enough to keep me very busy this week.  I'm already going to lose a day because of a holiday dinner at work (but yay dinner!)  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (if you're in the US) or a good weekend!

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Pretty, particularly the petticoat.

Thank you! I repurposed a queen size dust ruffle that had a pretty eyelet hem. I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Lovely undies!

I like the idea of a Victorian Christmas dress. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thank you! I'll have enough done to post pictures soon. I worked on the overskirt/'drapery' before work today, and it's coming along!

I can recall having read, somewhere, that weighting wet or damp garments while they're line-drying will help to keep out some of the wrinkles. Don't know if this is correct, as I haven't tried it yet but now I think I'll have to give it a whirl, so to speak.

During the 1940's, to the best of my acquired-by-reading knowledge (just so you know, I was reading about victory gardens in particular and rationing in general and this was mentioned as an aside), to save time and, more importantly, electricity (or other fuel if you were using a stove-heated flat iron/sad iron), ladies often placed a hot water bottle over the hook of a clothes hanger and then hung a blouse, buttoned, over the hanger-suspended hot water bottle to work out as many wrinkles as possible overnight. Also saved having to launder the garment quite so often, as it would have to go to a laundry to be done by someone else, or in a Laundromat to be done by the garment's owner if there were no clothes-washing facilities "at home," whether home was a house, a row or townhouse, or an apartment or a duplex. Or, yes, hand-wash it in the sink, but then you're back to where you were: a laundered garment in need of crease-control.
Anyway, just a thought, and I apologize for rambling on.

How interesting - I'd never considered the water bottle idea! I think hanging these items was the right move. They'll still benefit from a bit of pressing, but there are no deep, major wrinkles anywhere. Plus, since they weren't washed or dried with fabric softener, they have the feel of being very lightly starched. Perfect!

I'd never have thought of a hot water bottle, myself, not all on my own.
A friend of mine doesn't even own an iron and, as he doesn't take his wrinkle-resistant clothing out of the dryer in a timely fashion, when he does retrieve it, it comes out wrinkled. He has always told me it doesn't matter, that the warmth of the body sort of irons out the wrinkles or creases, and I remained dubious for a long time.
As it turns out, he's correct. And any places on his garments which end up with big, sharp wrinkles or creases were going to have them, anyway: backs of the pants legs, around the underarms of the shirt, especially in the front, across the bottom of the abdomen or at the hip flexure area if the person has enough of a belly to scrunch up the fabric and "press" it.... And once I read that little snippet about the hot water bottle "ironing" a blouse overnight, his claim made a lot of sense.

*smiles* Obviously, hanging your "flimsies and skimpies" was the right move! :^)

Also, your undies are so pretty I might have to curl up and die of envy! ;^> (Actually, they are very lovely and they inspire me to get cracking on sewing of my own---most of it, for now, street wear, but I'm ever-hopeful of making something very dainty and feminine and even a bit frilly!)

Thank you! Having pretty undies has never really been a priority for me, so this was an excellent excuse to make some. I really wanted to make some combinations from red flannel, but there's not enough yardage in my stash. It might become an underpetticoat for an event I'm hoping to attend in Minnesota early next year.

I'm so glad you feel inspired to sew! Sometimes a little eye candy is just the nudge we need. ;)

Inspired---but I still have a bunch of "RL" garments to make which must be given priority. Bah! >8^<

Still, I'm promising myself that as soon as I get those must-do's done, I can do at least one "Wanna-do!" and that helps to keep me motivated on the less glamorous stuff.

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